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Time once again to keep an eye on the SBOE

The Legislature is now out of town, but there will still be action in Austin to watch out for as the State Board of Education holds its July meeting. The Express News lets us know what’s happening.

In 2008, an SBOE majority rejected the recommendations of experts and scholars from a two-year process to rewrite the English and reading curriculum. Instead, at the last minute this faction adopted a document that had never been publicly reviewed, one that established new language arts standards in Texas for the next decade.

In 2009, the SBOE adopted new science standards that ignored the recommendations of leading scientists and educators. Last year, the board adopted politically-charged social studies standards that even a conservative educational think tank panned as “historically misleading and potentially damaging to our shared values as a nation.”

Now the SBOE is preparing to adopt supplemental instructional materials in science. With school district budgets strapped by cuts in education funding, it is essential that science teachers have the materials they need to prepare students to meet state-mandated benchmarks and, more important, to be successful in a competitive, knowledge-based economy.

Ideologically monkeying with educational standards and materials should never be acceptable. The only check on the SBOE’s actions is an informed public that scrutinizes the work of SBOE members and holds them accountable at the ballot box.

We’ve been down this road before and we know where it leads. New SBOE member Michael Soto has some information on his website about how to get involved:

You can view samples of the science instructional materials under consideration and leave comments at the Texas Education Agency website. (Some samples require a username and password; to request access, email [email protected].) If you discover factual errors, you can file a list with the TEA at this email address:[email protected]. (To learn more about how to report factual errors, please review this TEA web page.)

The public is invited to testify before the SBOE at its July meeting. (Testimony will be heard on Thursday, July 21st.) To learn more about how to testify, please review this TEA web page.

See here for more. Let’s start working on this now and raise alarms where needed so we won’t be caught by surprise later.

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  1. […] here, here, and here for some background, and this Chron story for more. TFN Insider will be […]